“Softest Hard”, installation view at “Unoriginal Genius” curated by Domenico Quaranta, Carroll/Fletcher, London, 2014; coil binding book printed on demand, 322 pages, text, documentation of performance.
When I’m sleeping in the softest hard is taking place, 2013
A thing is a hole in a thing it is not. ( ) Negative space. To hold your breath until you faint as a means to reaffirm you being alive and present. In utter silence sounds burst into music, gaps between words determine the substance thereof and the possibility of meaning; repetition sets the scenario for difference to be recognized. Intrusive evidence of what is missing, which is always present. The more I know you, the less I am myself. It’s like throwing stones in a lake, an endless drain. When you throw stones in a river they get to a sea, carried by the water flow, sometimes. Throwing a stone in the lake, short is the reverb. And it sinks to the bottom. I am drained. You should find the trick otherwise the trick is going to find you. I always reconnect art work to the idea of fitness; to ease your mind in running, gathering mind flow in endurance, isn’t it concerning the spiritual in art? Melt fat, burn calories. It has something of Giacometti, and taking the fat off space. Sleep is lifetime in reverse, a space where lifestream both rejuvenates and interrupts, the negative which daytime action develops from. In your absence you are everywhere. Sleeping with somebody else has become a way to sharpen the pain for the lack of your body; to wake up with somebody else a remark of the lack of your presence. Failure is a way to reaffirm your narcissism. Talking to yourself in the boring soliloquy that you can admit things went wrong but you can somehow do better – while in the end you knew from the beginning it’s just another well-framed excuse. I don’t believe in anything. I just used to ask you for your presence to compensate for the void I felt, but the void ate the whole court in the end. The urge to workout I push my untrained body to, as a reassurance I still have one and I can feel it – something I used to get from the warm presence of your body next to mine at night, in a different space and time. The smooth rhythm of your breath, the soft movement of your unconscious body. The magnetism of your skin. I keep an intolerable journal of this absence, a memory of nights spent apart in the form of readable data I get from the Sleep Cycle app for iPhone, a bio-alarm clock that analyzes your sleep patterns and wakes you when you are in the lightest sleep phase. “Since you move differently in bed during the different phases, Sleep Cycle uses the accelerometer in your iPhone to monitor your movement to determine which sleep phase you are in. Waking up in the lightest sleep phase feels like waking without an alarm clock – it is a natural way to wake up where you feel rested and relaxed.” – as the application is described on the app store. Never have I woke up like that – but at least it gives me back a detailed analysis of every night spent sleeping alone. When I am happy I won’t have time to make this anymore. Yes Alejandro Cesarco I guess you’re right. I hate it hearing the echo of your own words when you are speaking to yourself, in a way that muteness resembles deafness. Higher the cliff, more painful the fall. Higher expectations correspond to more frustrating disappointments. The point you go to bed every night tired to the extent that rest is not really possible. What most people want is to escape themselves in the end – for everybody’s hustle is about the labour of being present. I set my ambition so high that every unproductive circumstance can become a wellspring of anxiety, and non-productivity automatically sense of guilt. Every hour the eleventh-hour. Sleeping alone has come to represent a waste of possibilities, that set of possibilities at your fingertips if you’d been sleeping with somebody on the other hand. Unconscious activity as spam. Having a job as waste of energy. How are you performing in life? I mean, tangible outcome, countable results. You are always at work when you become the work. Set up the business of your own self-centeredness: sensitivity as both source and target market. How do you deal with the constant need to generate a narrative, when the hiss has come to cover any intelligible idea? The hustle of being always present. This is why perhaps negative space is so necessary, the negative space spawn by the presence of the other, in which dissolve self in something else, turn here into elsewhere. To miss somebody like I miss you is writing statements in white ink. It is about having pushed myself so self-convinced of this absence. Lack of enthusiasm. Lack of trust. Me as an emptied-out heart shaped box. Time is the most precious thing in the world for time has the value of possibility. Time for yourself, time together, time apart. Which health based on disease? Which relationship on performance anxiety? Which gain based on debt? The more I lost you, the less I’ve come to appreciate myself. Permanent daylight. That missing cannot be comprehended. This missing cannot be measured. A missing cannot be regulated. That missing is a vacuum to be experienced, which can be only penetrated but not contained. You're on earth, there's no cure for that! As an artist, I keep this work of journaling your absence in an effort to make it less intolerable – at least I can assure myself this is usable material.
I hope I quit this work as soon as possible.
* The Softest Hard is a song by Berlin based duo Easter, a narrative about nightmares, lack of self-esteem and the terrifying power of the unconscious.